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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    March 7, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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with simple, real ingredients, like roasted peanuts, creamy peanut butter, and a rich dark-chocolate flavor, plus 10 grams of protein, so it's energy straight from nature to you. nature valley protein bars. so it's energy straight from nature to you. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back.
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they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. clear eyes, full tummies, can't lose. president obama sits down for more datante al dente. this is "now." it's march 7th. joining me today washington post columnist and msnbc contributor the effortlessly elegant jonathan caphart. political editor, msnbc
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contributor, and white house correspondent -- you are elegant too -- at the huffington post, sam stein. columnist for bloomberg news doc farrow is here and executive editor at msnbc.com, our favorite import from the united kingdom, richard wolfe. president obama is hoping that breaking bread with congressional republicans will help break political gridlock. congressman paul ryan is on his way to the white house right at this very moment for a 12:25 p.m. lunch with the president and congressman chris van holland. earlier this week the president and the gop's budget boy wonder had a long phone conversation regarding the deficit and spending in advance of ryan's latest attempt to balance the nation's checkbook in ten years with zero revenue. last night the president took 12 republican senators out to dinner at the jefferson hotel. all accounts indicate a cordal reengagement. >> i think we had a great, great dinner, great discussion. the president was sincere. >> it was very candid. it was cordial and substantive.
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>> we listened, and then we had a nice dialogue back and forthed. >> it was constructtive. >> i am more optimistic from a personal standpoint. >> republicans also warned that a single night on the town does not a successful relationship make. >> the idea wasn't that we were going to negotiate a deal last night. that was never part of the plan. that isn't going to happen over one dinner. >> it's going to take a while to build the kind of confidence and trust that's needed. >> i don't think there's any expectation that something over the next month or six weeks is going to occur. >> the white house will continue the courtship next week when the president will go to capitol hill to meet with republicans and democrats, including, possibly, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell who was not present at date night last night despite his deal maker status. winning over gop hearts will be an uphill climb. referring to the lack of a comprehensive white house budget proposal yesterday, paul ryan sounded highly skeptical saying i find it interesting that the president has chosen to blow the
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deadline again not by a week or two, but for an indefinite period of time. the white house ought to lead. that's what presidents do. which begs the question, short of standing outside the gop headquarters with a boom box blasting peter gabriel, what must president obama do to win republican hearts and really truly finally bring them to bargain? sam stein, there's nothing i love more than quoting people to themselves and on live television, and in an article that you wrote for the huffington post, you actually quote a white house official who says, "there are a lot of republicans who probably don't know what we have put on the table. i don't know if the white house website isn't loading properly or if they're not reading the a.p., but if we need to sit down with these folks over a fancy sea bass to educate them about what we are offering, we are willing to do it." >> yeah. i mean, i think that's a really big concern within the administration is the fact that the plans that they put forward, including some reform changes like chain cpi and social security, medicare different
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payments in terms of -- no one knows about them, and ezra cline had a good post where he talked to an unnamed republican congressman about chain c.p.i., and the congressman said something like if only they would go there, we could get a deal. they went there. you know, it's funny in one respect, but it's also sort of sad and problematic in another that if you have to actually just start with educating them about what's in the proposal, then the end game, which is the actual deal making is far off, and i guess sea bass will help, but it will take a lot of sea bass. >> a lot of chilean sea bass. >> i think everybody has seen that bill o'reilly tape where he says you're lying about what the president has on offer, and really there is a sense that no matter what president obama puts on the table, it won't be enough. even if it's precisely the things that republicans are calling for. >> it won't be enough or won't be believed that he is actually putting this on the table. i mean, that's what's at issue here. if folks in the administration can -- and journalists can go on
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a website and see with their own eyes what the administration is proposing and go back to tapes and interviews that the president is saying all of the things that he would put in a daily auto and a lot of them being what republicans say that they want, well, maybe the issue is that the president needs to sit them down face-to-face and say, listen, i'm not playing politics on this. i'm not joking around. let's talk about this. let's do it. the only way you can get that conversation going is by having face-to-face conversations not with staff, but where those members of congress who spend a whole loot of time vilifying the president, talking smack about the president can look him in it and trust their own judgment about how serious he is, and given the tape of what we saw of all those people coming out of dinner, sounds like they liked what they saw. >> well, it's important also that this sort of happened behind closed doors for both sides, josh. i mean, the thing is the white house probably hasn't done the best job of marketing what's on
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the table, but they also don't want to talk too much about reforming entitlement programs because democrats on the hill aren't totally excited about passing that legislation. >> well, it's not just that, but republicans have a history of attacking democrats when democrats propose entitlement cuts. the centerpiece of the last two republican congressional campaigns have been attacking democrats for cutting medicare, so i think the white house does want to avoid having their fingerprints all over this too much. i think it makes sense that they're starting with the senate because i think the senate is a little bit less politicized than the hit-or-miss. i think there's a little bit more of a negotiating partner available there, and then some of these senators, people like john mccain, kelly ayotte, lindsey graham, are people that are bothered by the defense cuts and sequester and might be willing to make concessions. what you hear from republicans in the house is, well, all the president has put on the table is tax increases, and that's not true, but half is tax increases, and republicans are never really going to like that. this is the group that you might convince to cut a deal with. >> although lindsey graham said, hey, we will put revenue on the table if the president is serious about entitlement reform, and that was not long ago. we just showed some tape,
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richard, of paul ryan entering the white house. i think that's -- i mean, look, we talked a lot yesterday about whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, whether it will amount to much. i think at the end of the day it's a win-win situation for both sides. republicans look less obstructionist. the white house looks like they are finally heeding the advice that the president needs to engage more, and the country sees the two sides talking, if not actually doing. >> right. you want to look like you're at least willing to share lunch or maybe a dinner, right? >> at least that. >> i don't know if the sea bass because it's not very good for the environment, at least the chilean kind. >> it's delicious. >> i'm all for people having good food. it's great. i don't want to be a party pooper because everyone suddenly thinks they're all great. i just want to point out a couple of things. during health care reform, the president put in front of republicans their own policies, their own approach to health care reform in particular to people like chuck grassley and said here are the ten things you've always said you wanted to do.
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will you vote for them? at that point with that piece of legislation, they said no, not going to do it. mostly because it's you. you know, if there were ten people behind me, chuck grassley said, yes, we could do this. something more than just sea bass has to change, and i think that might be the most significant thing out of this week, which is that mitch mcconnell and obviously these are mitch mcconnell's team have made me realize that you can no longer make president obama a one-term president, and if you cannot root for his failure, if you cannot spend four years gunning for him to fail, then you are going to have to do something else while are you in the senate. maybe for some of them it's just dinner. maybe for some of them it is, as tom said this morning, there could be under the guise of tax reform some piece of revenue that they could sign up to. >> and emphasis on do. before we continue to bat this around, let me bring in the woman with all the answers to our questions, nbc news capitol
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hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. >> if that were only so. >> it's true. kelly, let's talk a little bit about the attendees at last night's dinner. some of those names are a lot more familiar than others. mitch mcconnell wasn't on that list. tell us what your read on the invites is. >> well, this was a list put together by lindsey graham, and it really reflects his view of the senate. you've got the mccain-graham-ayotte kind of -- we now call them the new three amigos where you can talking about defense interests. you have people like saxby chambliss that sht going to seek re-election. they've always been considered sort of cooler heads. then you've got two tea party senators, pat thoomey of pennsylvania and ron johnson of wisconsin who do not have a relationship with the president like the others because they weren't in the senate when he
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was here. it was an interesting mix of bringing people together who represent different parts of the republican party of the moment. it's important for them to go without the leadership. i've heard many times from republicans that this applies to democrats as well. when are you in the leadership, you have almost no running room. everything you say is, in effect, then policy for your party. when you have these other members, they do have a little more breathing room. i've talked to some of them. they really described being surprised at the seriousness the president put forward in his willingness to talk about changes to entitlements, those sorts of things. we were talking about sort of the trust barrier earlier. i think there were people who do not know him as well who were surprised by that. >> let me -- >> they also said that they are talking about revenue, but as you point out, it would be a way to get to revenue, a number of them are, in a context of tax reform, so they are both trying to show some leg in a setting like that to try to, i think,
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build some trust. >> we all want them to show a little bit more leg, but, kelly, let me ask you, mitch mcconnell is going to face a primary challenge. john cornyn will face a primary challenge. there's only so much they can do in advance of 2014, so maybe this is a brilliant bit of bipartisan strategy here, which is to say the president gets, you know, rank-and-file members on board. he doesn't have to get leadership to sign off on it. they can be protected from challenges at the right ward flank. i mean, that would seem to be part of the idea behind that, right? >> absolutely. although lindsey graham is also up for re-election. it is about trying to put a patchwork together. to not keep repeating the same issues. as richard point the out, you can't make him a one-term president anymore, so put that playbook away. start where we are now. positions people held over the last several years, some of it's relevant, some it not as much. you sort of have to be in the moment, and there is an urgency about trying to get a long-term deal. i think they've taken so many swings that the and failed, people are approaching it with a different attitude.
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at least some of the group that was a part of this last night. giving them all credit for sitting down, the president did make this happen. they went and attended. we heard from speaker boehner today about the ryan lunch saying he is not taking any message from me. the speaker thoroughly appreciates the fact that the president is talking to members, not just going through leadership. you know, we can make this a data point of bipart sfwlanship in what will be a long set of negotiations. >> we will take as many data points on bipartisanship as we can get. you know, there is talk about blowback from the right whenever, you know, republicans are seen meeting or doing anything in the same frame as the president, but there's also the question of blowback from the left, and matt miller has, i think, a pretty compelling opinion in today's washington post. he writes, "apart from obama care, what's the president's legacy beyond having avoided a second great depression? republicans just got 82% of the bush tax cuts made permanent. they're forcing washington to debate deficits instead of jobs. their dominance of the debate is
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impressive. if this is how a retrograde party in disarray plays the game, who knows what's in store if republicans get their act together?" >> what a sad legacy to just save the country from the great depression. >> right. fair enough. >> and i think -- >> or catch bin laden or save the -- >> what else have you done? >> that predicate may be flawed. the end point that if this is what the party -- >> i think it's totally legitimate to say that the republican party has had a huge affect on the -- much bigger than the actual size in members in congress. in 2010 when they won back the majority of the house, they turned the discussion very abruptly to deficit reduction. the president decided he had to play that game in order to win back the trust. i think to go back to josh's other points that we're getting a very big tell here about how the white house sees legislative strategy going forward. there is no trigger event like the fiscal cliff or sequestration. they can't win back the house that way. they do not have control of the house floor. john boehner does. they cannot bring a bill through
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the house. they've decide thad they have to find five republican senators and hold the majority, get something through the senate, and then shame john boehner into acting. they're doing that, i guess -- >> i think john boehner is willing to be shamed. >> he said he would do that with gun control. he said he would do that with gun control. he said if they passed a bill, he would have a vote on the house in that bill. they're hoping that they can do that with budget stuff as well. i don't know if that's going to actually be the case, though. >> the other thing we're not talking about, josh, is social security taxes are capped at $113,700. if we raise that cap, social security would be solvent. >> well, i mean, sure. that's just saying if you did an enormous tax increase, the government would have a lot more revenue sxushgs use it for social security. >> 5.2% of the country makes more than that. >> right, but this is an offset to the income tax, which is highly progressive. you have to look at the tax coated as a system as the hole, and it's a progressive tax code once you include the federal income tax. this is a key part of the
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president's economic legacy. it's not just health care. he has gotten a much more progressive fiscal policy than coming in, in part because he made 28% of the bush tax cuts permanent. you let expire the ones at the top, and then you oppose -- impose additional tacks as part of obama care that raised another point on earned income and another three points on unearned income. you have rich people paying a lot more taxes in 2014 than they would have in 2008. >> they're also making historically high level -- they're bringing in historically high levels of income. >> but this is a reaction to that, right? you've had this decades long trend of increasing income inequality, and one of the obvious policy responses to that is higher tax on people with high incomes and lower tack on people with lower incomes. i don't love the president's promise not ever to raise taxes on people making under $250,000 a year. i think it's hampered tax reform and caused them to miss the forest through the trees on certain tax reform that is would be progressive, but you could come up with examples of people who made $120,000 a year who paid more. i think that there is something to be said for the idea that in
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this environment of increasing income inequality, the focus of tax reform should be on higher taxes at the top, and that's exactly where the president's focus has been. >> we have to leave it there. i want to thank the lovely and wise nbc's kelly o'donnell for the latest intel. >> thanks for having me. >> we will surely be coming back with more questions as we continue. >> after the break, rand paul's anti-drone filibuster nearly reached the 13 hour mark, but when you got to go, you got to go. >> i would go for another 12 hours to try to break strom thurmond's records, but i discovered there's some limits to filibustering, and i'm going to have to go take care of one of those. >> real talk. >> we'll discuss paul's marathon and the nasty side effects of filibusters gone wild next on "now." did you know, your eyes can lose vital nutrients as you age?
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>> is going to give ammunition to those critics who say that the rules of the senate are being abused. i hope that my colleague on this side of the aisle will take that into consideration. >> to my republican colleagues i don't remember any of you coming down here suggesting that president bush was going to kill anybody with a drone. you know, i don't even remember the harshest critics of president bush on the democratic side. they had a drone program back then. >> that was john mccain and lindsey graham taking senator rand paul to the task for his
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filibuster of the nomination of cia director john brennan. yesterday the kentucky senator excoriated the administration's drone program. >> when i say this is not a partisan battle i'm true to my word. president bush started this. president obama is expanding this. the real irony, though, is president obama ran as the anti-bush candidate. in the end he is taking presidential power to a new level beyond what president bush could have ever imaged. >> paul was joined by a dozen member, including ron white, a fierce critic of the administration's drone policy, and marco rubio who helped stall for time by quoting jayzee. >> that takes me back to another modern day poi et by the name of jayzee. he wrote it's sudden when days can change. it was all good just a week ago. >> i don't know if sean carter
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approves of that. a highly partisan filibuster fight was playing out behind the scenes. prior to paul's speech, senate republicans silently filibustered one of the president's picks for the second highest post in the land. first nominated to the d.c. your yut court in 2011, and graduate of princeton and georgetown law has been waiting for an up or down vote for 720 days. every republican senator, except for one, lisa murkowski voted to block her nomination. president obama made his displeasure known. quote, "i am deeply disappointed that despite support from a majority of the u.s. senate, minority of senators continues to block the nomination of katilyn halligan. today's vote continues. the white house also released statistics showing the difference in average wait times between president obama's district court nominees and those of his predecessor. the obstruction pushed
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democrats, including dick durbin to rethink the decision to not overhaul the filibuster process at the start of this term zoosh i feel sorry for her. i hate to suggest this, but if this is an indication of where we're headed, we need to revisit the reforms. i'm sorry to say it because i was hopeful that a bipart sflan approach to dealing with these issues would work. >> um, richard, who is going to get their paperwork handled first? the 11 million undocumented workers in this -- or political nominees. >> 28 of president obama's 219 judicial nominees have been confirmed. that's a success rate of 12.7%. >> why did they think this would work? >> i don't know. >> how naive do they have to be? charlie brown and the football every time. >> do we need to go out for dinner and figure it out.
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>> sea bass. >> there's a bigger discussion you raised about pairty, right? well, you did it for bush, and, actual actually. >> nobody cared about anything. >> standards were low. >> yes, there was obstruction, but this is a different time when you have a 13-hour filibuster. when republicans didn't mind going to war when it was a question of it was a threat or not, but maybe the sea bass is a different quality. whatever it is the system isn't working. change the system. >> i don't understand, jonathan, when harry reid had the chance, he had that very, very, very
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small window, and kind of came up, i believe, his version of reform was cutting down the post-cloture debate time from 30 hours too. that's good. at the end of date you look at that. these are judicial nominations. this is the second highest court in the land. there are four vacation answeries on this d.c. circuit court. four of the nine supreme court justices served on it. to say that it is an important bench is an understatement. >> right. >> republicans have no problem having no one there. >> what happened to that agreement that was made in the senate? what was it called? >> the gang of 14. >> the gang of 14 that, you know, to forestall the nuclear option of what actually just happened, i guess it just blowed up. i mean, i don't know. you know, instead of sea bass and going to the jefferson, maybe what they should do is go to blue duck tavern and have the braised beef rib and talk
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about -- and talk about how to solve the judicial crisis here. >> i mean, the notion, sam, of the filibuster is -- and why it exists is a gentile parliamentary rules, and there was a sense of -- a bipartisan sense. the senate does things a certain way, and also each party can at one time be in the minority, but you look at how it's being used. i think we have a bar chart. there were 137 cloture motions filed in 2009. >> looks like a contagion. >> it's filibuster contablingon. >> there was always a gentleman's agreement. we would give you a 60 vote provided that the minority party didn't abuse, it and for a while that agreement held. clearly it's not holding anymore, and, you know, when that happens, usually there has to be some sort of response to it, and what's happened twice now is that the majority leader reid has decided against doing something that was -- that would
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be more bold than these minor changes that he has made. i understand the argument that both sides do. i remember when president obama partook in the filibuster of john roberts, but let's be honest and clear about it. there was a gentleman's agreement back then, and it was that john roberts would ultimately probably get through, and obama was running for presidency, and i continue sounds lame and superficial that he participated in a filibuster, but it was always under the premise that at some point john roberts would get through. that's not happening. there are no gentleman's agreements. this is used as obstructionism. >> i want to return to the actual rand paul blow back because i do think it's really interesting that you have mccain and graham out there excoriating paul for excoriating the administration. it's that, hey, let's pile on if it's aernt white house. we'll take part. is that -- is that -- what is that? where is that coming from? is that because mccain is hawkish and sort of blooefdz e
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believes in an aggressive counterterrorism strategy, or is that the john mccain of yore standing up for principle? >> oh, well, it is principle, but the principle is about the hawkishness. it's not about senate rules. he is not bothered about obstruction. i think the rand paul filibuster is the exception that proves the rule. i think this was a productive exercise. i think it moved the debate on the drone issue where i tend to lean toward the white house's drone policy, but i am uncomfortable with the way that they're trying to do it in private and avoid public scrutiny of it, and i think this is leading to a useful public discussion. it was actually talking filibuster, which you don't see a lot of, and i think one of the reforms they talked about was forcing people to actually hold the floor if they wanted to filibuster, which i think would have been good in two ways. one is there wouldn't have been as many filibusters, and then people would have had to talk about the thing that was being filibusters. there would be have been news. >> today the conversation has been dominated by the drone program. >> if it became a routine, maybe it wouldn't be that big a deal. >> i don't think it would become
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routine. >> who wants to talk for 13 hours? >> jonathan, there's another point here, and this gets frequently ignored in terms of -- we're talking about a judicial nominee, and what the president is actually trying to do on the ports. i think this is really interesting. the washington post on sunday had an analysis. they write "in florida president obama has nominated the first openly gay black man to sit on a federal district court. in new york he has nominated the first asian-american lesbian, and his pick for the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. court? the first south asian. what? the new wave of nominations is part of an effort by obama to cement a legacy that long outlives his pregnancy and makes the court system more closely resemble the changing society it governs. i think that is -- that's powerful. gives me a little shiver to think. we talk about our president's legacy. his legacy on the courts may end up being his most long-lasting legacy. >> right. because these are people who serve on the court long after he is gone. the people that are mentioned, remember, there's already -- he
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already nominated an openly gay federal judge. happens to be a friend of mine. a couple of years ago. judge etkin. this is something where, you know, a lot of people spend a lot of time focussing on these marquee issues, whether it's same-sex marriage or immigration, and if the president doesn't move fast enough, he is against us. he is not leading. he is not doing anything. if you just scratch below the surface just for a minute, you will find a slew of things the president is doing out of the public glare that will have enormous impact on the country and on american society and on the way society views itself, and this is -- this is a prime example. people don't understand the judiciary. they just think these are folks who are in robes and who render judgments, but if you have a judiciary that looks like america and there are people on the bench who look like you -- >> it changes our justice system. >> it changes the way americans
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view their justice system i think for the better. >> judge caphart. that's what america needs next. >> willing to serve. >> all right. coming up, it's been more than 40 years since the supreme court made roe v. wade the law of the land, but you would not necessarily continue in arkansas. we will examine what is now the nation's most restrictive ban on reproductive rights just ahead. . at a hertz expressrent kiosk, you can rent a car without a reservation... and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. prego?! but i've been buying ragu for years. [ thinking ] i wonder what other questionable choices i've made? [ club scene music ] [ sigh of relief ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego. we create easy to use, powerful trading tools for all. look at these streaming charts! they're totally customizable
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>> yesterday a month after the 40th anniversary of roe v. wade, the state of arkansas passed the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. the law known as the human heart beat protection act bans most abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy, the point at which a fetal heart beak can be detected by an ultrasound. to say that arkansas is on a campaign to restrict freedoms, would be an understatement. there is only one clinic that provides surgery wal abortions in the whole state. it stands in brazen contradiction to current law that grants women the constitutional right to abortion svgss until the fetus is viable outside the womb. normally 24 weeks into a pregnancy. earlier this week arkansas democratic governor mike bebe vetoed the 12-week ban saying it "blatantly contradicts the united states constitution, as interpreted by the supreme court." yesterday the republican-controlled statehouse and senate were able to override the governor's veto, the bill sponsor state senator is a man
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who has equated abortions with the holocaust and the ruwandan genocide. 2011 and 2012 were record-breaking years for curbing a woman's right to choose. a slew of medically unnecessary procedures have spread throughout the states. eight states currently ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. ultrasounds prior to abortion are now required in eight other states. 17 states require preabortion counseling, and 26 states now require a mandatory waiting period. happy belated anniversary, roe v. wade. joining us now is nancy northrop, president and ceo of the center for reproductive rights. i'm so outraged by this, nancy, that i am losing my voice one second while i get some water. enlisting that wrath of unnecessary legislation, what strikes me is that this all seems to be part of a larger effort to shame women, which is to say the ultrasounds, the counseling, the waiting period.
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it's all designed to make what is already an incredibly difficult decision that much harder. >> you can say it's a whole host of laws that say we don't trust women to make a very important personal decision about their lives, and one of the things that the supreme court recognized in roe and again 20 years ago in the casey case was women need to be able to make these decisions, and it's part of their constitutional right to do so. >> we know that there are only four states that have one surgical abortion clinic left. i think that is for a lot of women or men and women in this country who understand that roe v. wade is low of the land, the fact that there are only -- that you would be in north dakota, south dakota, arkansas, and mississippi and there is only one place to go, it is not as if the need has died down, that there is not still, you know -- there are economic, personal, and health reasons why women -- a woman has to make a dig difficult decision like this. my question to you is, and i was asking you this during the break, what is the constituency for these kind of very, very
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strict -- i would almost say draconian laws around reproductive freedoms. >> there are one states and just one clinic and that's because there's an assault on the rights for going on 40 years. unfortunately, there is a minority in this country that are very intent on overturning roe versus wade and blocking women's ability to have abortion services sxshgt reality is abortion is a service that one in three women in the united states makes the decision to have in her lifetime. it's necessary health care, and this is an assault to try to block her from being able to do that. >> it's worth noting that the president is signing the violence against women act today, and the reason that passed in a bipart sdmran fashion is i think to some degree republicans understood that they could not be on the wrong side of legislation and history and demographics on this one. we saw with richard murdock and todd akin, there are certain areas where it seems increasingly -- certain areas
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are increasingly political kryptonite, and, yet, there is still a hunger on the state level to go forward with this legislation. you have to wonder at what point does the national party leadership, if it even exists anymore, step -- at what point do they step in and say enough? enough with this? it is not working for us or good for us? it is not good for the party. >> well, on a rationale measure, based on election results, you would say now, but, actually, this isn't a -- there's a parallel with the gun debate. not because you threw that up at the top here, but where you have a national advocacy group, in this case it's about choice, but it could be the nra, which is very effective at the state level, and pushes people on through primaries, the national leadership is not willing to take them off. no matter what the polls say, no matter what the demographics. even where it's relatively easy on immigration where the organization that is anti-immigration reform is perhaps less organized, less effective, although they
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obviously also have a big platform, even their leadership is having a problem. this isn't about the calculation of what's popular, what's morally justified. it is -- it's payingsat thing that they have to know the base is fired up about, so i -- you know, what is striking is that you can't dismiss any one of these points anymore. you know, this is a long-term project that has been executed vigorously in a sustained way and is having a real impact on the ground, and i think that's what the last election cycle really displayed for everyone. there were random comments from todd akin or some other candidate. this was part of a concerted campaign that led that language to appear in their heads even if they mangled it when they came out. >> resulted in legislation too. >> i think to your point. mcdonnell is effective and has been for a while now.
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it was not a politically popular thing to do, and it suffered. in mississippi there's a case where the expectation was, oh, it's mississippi. we'll pass this thing, and it got beat back fairly easily. there were national figures who were asked about it and were very -- >> litmus test. >> i know mitt romney had his whole problem answering it. by and large, he tried his best to distance himself from it. i do think there are occasions where the national republican party recognizes it it's sending a divisive message. i think that will continue to be the case. >> let me just say i think part of the problem also, nancy, is that there are no women in these state legislations. in arkansas there are 100 house members, 16 are women. of the 35 state senators, only six are women. i mean, you look at the -- you compare the guns piece. there is the -- in south dakota it has one of the longest mandatory waiting times in the country. if you want to have an abortion. there is no waiting period for a
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handgun. in the balancing act here, it seems wildly off, and perhaps one of the reasons there's not -- one of the reasons there's not more outcry, not more pushback is because the representation is overwhelmingly decidedly male. >> well, i think that's obviously part of the problem. when you have women in office, it makes a difference. it also really -- you don't -- your comparison with the guns is important to look at because what we're seeing is just not trusting women, and i think that's what we saw in the last election that got women and men who support them, you know, outraged, right? because they could see whether it was virginia's ultrasound case or others that women's decision making is not being trusted, and i think we're starting to turn a corner on the public saying, you know, enough. we want to draw the line about this. let's give the responsibility back to women. they don't need to be baby-sat by male dominated legislatures. >> oh, nancy. it's an uphill climb sometimes, it seems, but not reason to give up the fight by any stretch of the imagination. thank you to nancy northrop from the center for reproductive rights.
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great to have you. >> thank you. >> coming up, rare is the trekky who prefers captain john luke baccard to captain kirk. so too with the republicans and the line-up at cpac. we will look at the conference's so-called next generation just ahead. [ shapiro ] at legalzoom, you can take care of virtually all your important legal matters in just minutes. protect your family... and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. and launch your dreams. (music throughout) why turbo? trust us. it's just better to be in front. the sonata turbo. from hyundai.
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>> i don't know what the purpose
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of cpac is anymore. cpac at one time was the e-mail tant wing of the conservative movement. it was the place where ronald reagan gave his famous speech about gold colors, not pale pastels. i don't know what cpac is today. >> he doesn't know what the point is so, naturally, he will definitely be there. the 2013 motto is america's future, the next generation of conservatives. who fits the bill more than thought leader and visionary, donald trump, who is slated to address the confab next week. he will join next generationers sarah palin, mitt romney, and newt gingrich as the group attempting to rally the best of the best in conservative thought. meanwhile, the list of cpac snubs grows longer. virginia governor bob mcdonald has joined chris christie and gay conservative groop go crowd in the just too futuristic/just too soon discard pile. then again, the dis may not be a bad thing. slate jokeses "getting snubbed by cpac is the new getting
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invited to cpac." jonathan, how as a booker looking towards the next generation do you have a pile of papers and say yes, sarah palin, yes donald trump, no chris christie, no bob mcdonald? >> yes, mitt romney, who they didn't even like last go round. i just wrote down some names of people who i thought for sure would be invited to cpac. governor susannah metro nez of new mexico. mia love, governor scott walker, wisconsin, paul ryan, the vice presidential nominee. that to me is next generation. not retreads who have been in one way or another embarrassed the party, embarrassed national discourse, and quite frankly, embarrassed themselves. >> it's not, you know -- forget the headliners for a second because you can invite whoever you want as speaker. i think the real problem here is not inviting pro gay rights
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conservative groups that is a message of bigotry, lack of inclusion, that don't think serbs the party very well, and i know is deeply offensive to a lot of people in the conservative movement and shouldn't be taken lightly. >> josh, it would almost seem independent of not sag taking the party two steps forward, it would seem to be almost taking the party two steps back when you have not only the gay rights issue, but you have someone like mitt romney who the party is desperately trying to get itself away from the shadow of the 47% comments and here he comes. >> well, i think the forces behind cpac are trying to draw certain lines you have social conservatives organized in the conference who don't want gay marriage to become one of these issues where conservatives say, well, we need people on both sides. we're effectively going to say it's less important than the fiscal policy issues. for some people that's not why they're involved in the conservative movement. they don't want to voernd the gay marriage issue. similarly, the common thread you see with martinez and mcdonnell and chris christie, these are all governors that have taken the medicare expansion. they view that as betrayal.
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this has been kousht productive. i think cpac is taking some of the most popular elected officials at the state level -- case itch, the governor of ohio, is also not invited. these are people that are popular in their states. >> doing the hard work of governing. >> taking the medicaid expansion is part of that. that's good policy. the federal government is offering you money that you can take or leave to benefit the people of your state. unless your primary priorities -- you're going to take the money. those people will have a future for the party, but it's not what a lot of the hard right people involved with cpac want. we overstate the importance of cpac. i have been on a panel at cpac. who is at cpac is college students and old retirees. the speeches get covered on -- sometimes people that want to run for president can make a splash on that, but really this is not the organizing function of the republican party, so i think cpac is a basket case. a lot of conservatives now think it's a basket case, but -- >> it's a zoo. i have been there.
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that's my point. forget the headliners. it's the message sent about inclusion that i think matters. >> they're inviting donald trump. they are inviting donald trump. >> when you mention trump and sarah palin. they are rabble-rousers rather than a spiritual place where deep thought can happen, and that's fine. they'll get the headlines, and they'll sell a few tickets, but what's worrying for anyone with serious national aspirations of the republican party is that this is alarmingly close to the mainstream. that's the problem. >> well, there are sure to be big tweets if not big thoughts of donald trump. >> are you going to be there? >> i'm not going to be there. i think they've built a wall to prevent me from being there. i will see you tomorrow at noon eastern when i'm joined by former obama deputy campaign manager stephanie cut ar, chris hayes, melissa harris perry, and kim, and buzz feed's ben smith.
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